Work-balance has become a premium commodity, partially due to technology’s uber-connectedness facilitating a workday that just never ends, and partially due to the lingering effects of a Great Recession where (most) everyone is just grateful to have a job (even if it does require 60+ hours a week).
While tech innovations were supposed to make our lives easier, and changing employee demographics were expected to refocus the American workplace on non-work-related aspects of life (community, family, and health), the average U.S. full-time employee is clocking just under 50 hours a week (approximately six days a week) and reporting decreasing quality of life standards as they progress through their economically-slumped career.
For those of us that got our professional start mid-Recession (looking at you, fellow Millennials), it can be increasingly difficult to not just “take what we can get” work-wise, as ending up unemployed, homeless, and defaulted on our student loans isn’t ever that far from reality.
If you’re like me, juggling the work-stuff with the personal stuff often comes at the expense of well-being.
Student debt is a big deal for many millennials.
That “educational investment” yield a lower ROI than expected?
Over 40 million Americans currently struggle with student loans, with the national burden of federal student debt rising over $1 trillion.
The average student debt load for today’s millennials recently registered at over $35,000 – a financial obligation that can put the “no-go” on many costly life events, such as getting married, having kids, and buying a home. A 2015 survey by Bankrate indicated that 56 percent of people ages18 to 29 have put off major life events – even purchasing a car and saving for retirement – because of student debt.
Many of you may be thinking, “Yep – that’s me!”
Type “entrepreneurship” into your favorite search engine and a popular – and unreferenced – definition is almost certain to pop-up:
“Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won’t, so that you can spend the rest of your life like most people can’t.”
Did you catch that?
“…living a few years of your life like most people won’t…”
While there are hundreds of more academically-accepted definitions of entrepreneurship, this internet sourced description is most relevant I light of my entrepreneurial experiences.
Not businesses are a success.
While there are many factors influencing whether or not a business will turn a profit, all successful businesses start with one thing in common – a good business idea.
Aspiring entrepreneurs often run in circles, trying to figure out whether or not their latest hare-brained startup inspiration is financially feasible.
Will the business model work? Will it turn a profit? Will customers support their new business? Is there any way to know whether or not their business idea will work before betting the farm?
Good news: Entrepreneurs have a framework for testing business idea feasibility without diving in head first.
November 19th is officially proclaimed as Global Women’s Entrepreneurship Day (Yay!).
It’s a pretty big deal here in the United States, along with 143 other countries. If you are, by chance, in NYC this weekend, consider swinging by the United Nations or Athleta Union Square for some Women’s Entrepreneurship Day (#ChooseWomen) celebrations!
As a female entrepreneur, I’m pretty stoked about Women’s Entrepreneurship Day, as my entrepreneurial experience has been quite empowering. Not only did starting my own business help me achieve class mobility and higher education, but it also provided more freedom and resources for my family’s future.
Working from the comforts of a home office may sounds like a dream come true to most commute-weary professionals – virtual conference calls snuggled up to your pup, no more office-sponsored political coups, and enjoying all that extra time that doesn’t get eaten up by burning rubber back and forth, back, and forth, back and forth.
Transitioning to the ever-growing status of a work from home (WFH) professional can be incredibly liberating; however, like most work transitions, it can require a unique strategy to maximize productivity and keep you from feeling like you live in the office.
Here are three tips to help turn your WFH situation into am empowering career move:
This post is brought to you on behalf of the Forté Foundation. The content does not necessarily reflect the views of the Forté Foundation.
Starting my own business in my early twenties with a laptop, communal Wi-Fi, and student loans, I quickly learned that it’s not what you know, it’s who you know (and I didn’t know anybody).
With limited funds and even less finesse, I struggled to connect with other professionals in my industry. I felt subconscious about my company’s early stage status and was almost convinced no one would ever hire me to market their brand. I knew networking was really important (I mean, it’s in all the business books), but armed with just with a well-worn Target suit, a couple dozen self-printed business cards, and an almost maxed out credit card, I wasn’t exactly positioned to network with the pros, or so I thought.
Remember Raymond Tusk from House of Cards?
The Koch-inspired billionaire who headquartered his company in Missouri (of all places), lived in a modest house with his wife, and spent his free time roaming the Ozarks bird watching? Despite living thousands of miles away from politic power houses and industry hubs, Tusk’s enterprises extended their reach into international markets from the Show Me State, all the way to China.
While I’m not much like Gerald McCraney’s House of Cards character (we exist in totally different tax brackets), we do have one similarity – running a business from the middle of nowhere.
Throughout business school, I carefully researched up and coming metro areas and startup communities, trying to identify the “perfect” place to headquarter my consulting firm. Continue Reading…
We’ve all been there – stuck in a job that (barely) pays the bills while sucking your very last ounce of inspiration and ambition with every passing hour.
Dead-end jobs aren’t anything new to 20 and 30-something’s that started their career mid-recession. On one hand, we were grateful for the paycheck (those didn’t come easy early 2000’s); on the other hand, we couldn’t believe our educational pursuits had left us stranded amidst a sea of literally-no-future positions.
If you find yourself clocking hours in a position that inspires reoccurring nightmares of spending twenty years doing the same drab thing, with the same drab people, in the same drab company, don’t fret!
There is hope.
Here are three things you can do when find yourself stuck in a dead-end job, besides the lunch hour/after hours job hunt (because that’s a given, right?): Continue Reading…
Sometimes you just hit the jackpot – a dream client that is a pleasure to work with sends you fabulous referrals, and always pays on time.
Other times, you find yourself tethered to a client from hell – a psychopathic cheapskate that’s a grab bag of ageism, sexism, and racism, threatens to slander your business name and is always late on their bill.
Mean clients have a way of taking something you love – your work, your company, and your entrepreneurial lifestyle – and turning it into a complete nightmare. The dark clouds of doom these bad clients bring along with them leave you second guessing your skills, your career, and even yourself.
Don’t let mean clients ruin your business.
Follows these three tips for dealing with mean clients successfully and enjoy the benefits of business again: